Benjamin Schmitt1, Toshiyuki Shiomi2, Siegfried Trattnig, Monika Egerbacher3, Pavol Szomolanyi
1Centre for High-Field MR, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; 2Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine; 3University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna
The study was performed to assess if the ionic X-ray contrast agent Hexabrix can be used as a specific marker of cartilage GAG content via CEST MRI. The agent is used in x-ray arthrography to assess GAG content through the fixed charge density of GAG. Samples from porcine knees with and without enzymatic degrading of cartilage were immersed in Hexabrix solutions at different concentrations, and examined with CEST MRI at 3 T. The results show CEST signal enhancements in cartilage with low GAG content, which can be attributed to accumulation of contrast agent, demonstrating the potential of the technique.